Vancouver, Wash.-based Absci Corporation inked a research pact with Merck. Absci will leverage the company’s Bionic Protein non-standard amino acid technology and its artificial intelligence-powered integrated Drug Creation Platform to create enzymes to meet Merck’s biomanufacturing applications.

Novartis and BeiGene bookended 2021 with collaborative deals. In January, Novartis licensed the China-based company’s checkpoint inhibitor, tislelizumab. On December 20, the Swiss pharma giant announced the licensing of the late-stage TIGIT inhibitor ociperlimab to bolster Novartis’ immunotherapy pipeline.

The World Health Organization (WHO) agreed on December 1 to launch negotiations on an international pact to prevent and control future pandemics at a time when the world is gearing up to battle the new Omicron variant of coronavirus.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Genentech and Blueprint Medicines’ Gavreto (pralsetinib) as a treatment for adults and pediatric patients 12 and older who have been diagnosed with rearranged during transfection (RET)-mutant medullary thyroid cancer (MTC).

A therapy jointly developed by Switzerland’s Roche Holding AG and Cambridge, Mass.-based Blueprint Medicines Corp. was approved by the U.S. health regulator for the treatment of patients with a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).